Easy Baked Chicken

8 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Easy Baked Chicken is flavored perfectly with paprika, salt, and pepper, then baked to crisp and juicy perfection in just 45 minutes.

If you need a simple Weeknight Dinner, you can’t go wrong with this classic Chicken Recipe. It’s filling, delicious, quick to prep, and makes an easy base to add more flavors or incorporate into different dishes. Check out Baked Sweet & Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken or Baked Rosemary Chicken more easy and tasty chicken dinners! 

Sabrina’s Easy Baked Chicken Recipe

Baked Chicken is an easy recipe option when you’re not in the mood for a lot of hands-on cooking. It’s an unfussy meal idea that only takes a few minutes of work before you pop it in the oven. Plus, it makes eight pieces of chicken, so you can save some of the leftovers for another weeknight meal.

My Easy Baked Chicken recipe is all about simple, flavorful goodness. Picture juicy chicken thighs and legs, seasoned just right with paprika, salt, and pepper, then baked until golden and crispy. Brushed with melted butter for that extra yum factor, it’s comfort food at its finest—easy to make and oh-so-satisfying!  


  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter: The melted butter serves as a flavorful coating for the chicken.
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt: Salt is essential for seasoning the chicken. If you don’t have kosher salt, you can use regular table salt, but adjust the amount as it may be saltier by volume.
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika: Paprika adds a smoky flavor and a vibrant color to the chicken. If you want a spicier kick, you can use smoked paprika, or cayenne pepper, or chili powder.
  • ¼ teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper: Black pepper provides a mild heat and earthy flavor to complement the other spices.
  • 4 Chicken Thighs, Bone-in and Skin-on: Chicken thighs are juicy and flavorful, and cooking them with the bone-in and skin-on helps keep them moist and adds extra flavor. You can use boneless and skinless chicken breasts if that’s what is available or if you prefer white meat.
  • 4 Chicken Legs: We use “skin-on” and “bone-in” chicken thighs along with chicken legs for this recipe. The bone keeps the meat moist and tender while it bakes. Meanwhile, the skin bakes into a perfectly crispy outer layer. 
  • Vegetable Oil Spray: This is used for greasing the baking dish to prevent sticking. You can also use olive oil or butter to grease the dish if preferred.
portioned ingredients for easy baked chicken

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Baking Dish (9×13): A baking dish of appropriate size ensures the chicken pieces have enough space to cook evenly without overcrowding. Grease the dish with vegetable oil spray or butter to prevent sticking. You can also use parchment paper.
  • Paper Towels: Patting the chicken dry with paper towels before seasoning helps remove excess moisture, making sure that the skin crisps up nicely during baking. It also helps the seasoning adhere better to the chicken.
  • Basting Brush: A basting brush is useful for spreading the melted butter or oil onto the chicken pieces. Make sure to brush the butter mixture generously over the chicken for maximum flavor and moisture.
  • Instant-Read Thermometer: An instant-read meat thermometer is crucial for checking the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it reaches 165 degrees, indicating that it’s safely cooked through. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone for an accurate reading.

How to Make Baked Chicken

Time needed: 55 minutes.

  1. Preheat the Oven

    Preheat your oven to 400 degrees to ensure it’s hot and ready when you’re finished preparing the chicken.portioned ingredients for easy baked chicken

  2. Prepare the Baking Dish

    Grease a 9×13 baking dish with vegetable oil spray to prevent the chicken from sticking during baking.

  3. Dry Chicken

    Pat the chicken thighs and legs dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture, which helps ensure the skin crisps up nicely.Raw chicken on a plate and a bowl of seasoning next to it

  4. Season the Chicken

    Season the chicken pieces with kosher salt, paprika, and coarse ground black pepper, ensuring each piece is evenly coated with the spices.seasoned raw chicken on plate

  5. Brush with Butter

    Using a basting brush, generously brush melted butter over the seasoned chicken pieces, ensuring they’re well coated.buttering raw seasoned chicken

  6. Bake the Chicken

    Place the seasoned and buttered chicken pieces in the prepared baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees and the skin is crispy.baked chicken in baking dish

Can This Be Made Ahead?

Yes, you can partially prepare this dish ahead by seasoning the chicken and storing it covered in the refrigerator up to a day in advance. However, it’s best to brush the chicken with melted butter once again just before baking to ensure it stays moist and flavorful.

What to Serve with Baked Chicken

The chicken needs 45 minutes in the oven, which gives you plenty of time to whip up an easy side or two on the stove top for a complete meal. For a classic comfort food meal, serve the baked chicken with some Skillet Creamy Mac and Cheese or Mashed Potatoes plus Sauteed Green Beans. You can also keep it really simple and healthy with a green salad and a side of Garlic Bread. For an easy, kid friendly dinner, serve it with french fries and homemade Ranch Dressing for dipping.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Baked Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 347 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 146mg49%
Sodium 401mg17%
Potassium 284mg8%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 355IU7%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

How to Store Baked Chicken


After cooking, make sure you don’t leave this Easy Baked Chicken dinner at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If you have leftovers, you can cover the dish in plastic wrap or put the chicken in an airtight container to store in the fridge. It can stay good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 

Reheating Tips

If you freeze this delicious recipe for later, it’s easy to reheat so that it tastes perfectly fresh. Start by lining a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Then place the frozen chicken in a single layer on the sheet. (There’s no need to defrost it.) Lay another piece of aluminum foil over the top of the chicken and put it in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes so that it can thaw and warm through.  


As long as you’ve sealed the chicken pieces in an airtight storage container, you can also freeze the recipe for up to 3 months. 

How to Use Leftover Chicken

Another excellent thing about this Oven Baked Chicken Recipe is that you can easily incorporate the leftover chicken into a variety of dishes. Try slicing up the baked chicken into chunks for comfort food meals like Chicken Casserole or Chicken Noodle Soup. You can also make them into crispy chicken quesadillas with melty cheddar cheese, bell pepper, jalapeno, and any other quesadilla fillings that you like. 

Frequent Questions

Can I use boneless, skinless chicken?

Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, but adjust the cooking time to 25 minutes as they will cook faster than bone-in, skin-on chicken.

How can I make the chicken skin crispier?

For extra crispy skin, you can try patting the chicken dry thoroughly with paper towels before seasoning and ensuring the skin is well-basted with melted butter before baking.

How do I know when the chicken is done?

Use an instant-read thermometer to check the chicken’s internal temperature, making sure it reaches 165ºF at the thickest part without touching the bone for safe consumption.

Recipe Card

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Baked Chicken

Easy Baked Chicken is flavored perfectly with paprika, salt, and pepper, then baked to crisp and juicy perfection in just 45 minutes.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 4 chicken thighs , bone-in and skin-on
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
  • Pat the chicken dry well with paper towels.
  • Season chicken with salt, paprika and black pepper.
  • Brush the melted butter onto the chicken.
  • Cook for 45-50 minutes or until chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees and the skin is crispy.


  • Click on the yield amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update!
  • Click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
  • To convert measurements to grams, click on the Metric option next to Ingredients in the recipe card.  


Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 401mg | Potassium: 284mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Easy Baked Chicken

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Variations on Baked Chicken

  • Italian Baked Chicken: Try making this Baked Chicken recipe with classic Italian flavors. You can use additional seasonings like a blend of garlic powder, oregano, and parsley for traditional Italian seasoning. Brush the chicken with olive oil in place of butter. You can also sprinkle a layer of shredded Parmesan during the last few minutes of cooking to enjoy a light chicken Parmesan recipe. 
  • Tex-Mex Baked Chicken: Whether you want to use this Baked Chicken for taco meat or just want a Mexican blend of flavor, you can sprinkle taco seasoning over the chicken pieces for a tasty, spicy dish. 
  • Additional Seasonings: There are many other simple seasoning options that you can try to bring some extra flavor to this recipe. Red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne are great for spicy chicken. You could also add ground mustard, rosemary, or onion powder. Another option is to add a tablespoon of brown sugar to give it a nice sweetness.
  • Baked Chicken Breasts: You can also make this recipe with chicken breasts. Keep in mind that breast meat bakes faster, so you’ll need to check the internal temperature earlier to ensure the chicken breasts don’t burn. 

More Delicious Easy Baked Chicken Recipes

Easy Baked Chicken Pin

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

Have you checked the FAQ section above to see if your question has already been answered? View previous questions.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.